Often the least expensive updates make the biggest impact. And paint is by far one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to change a space. Such a simple update can have a transformative effect—or your new wall color can fade to the background to serve as the perfect backdrop for your aesthetic. But before you pull out those paintbrushes, here are my rules of thumb.
Every color looks different in a different space: There are countless articles about why “X” is *the paint color* that will work for everyone, in every space, all of the time. But the truth is: every space is different. Your windows will bring in the light differently than your neighbor’s. Your lightbulbs may be a different brand, your furniture a different color. So the same paint color in two spaces may look drastically dissimilar.
Testing, testing, testing: Buy samples of your top three choices and paint them on the walls—or order painted peel and stick samples that you can move from wall to wall. (Protip: if you’re painting your walls a new color, but not priming first, the color may show up differently than the peel and stick sample because the samples are painted onto a stark white background.)
Take your time: Make sure to test the colors on multiple walls and see how they look in different kinds of lights. Live with the colors on the walls for a couple of days—or even weeks—to see what looks best over time. Look at them at sunrise and sunset, on sunny days, and in storms. This will help you to visualize how the colors work in your space and hopefully will help you determine which you like the best.
We have all been to the local hardware store and wandered by their paint section. The walls of gradients can be exhilarating, but a tad bit overwhelming. My advice: find a palette that makes your heart skip a beat. Then follow the steps above. Looking for a quick paint hack? Here are my top five favorite colors (of the moment) per category.
Think all white paint looks the same?
Think again! Some skew bright or have undertones of peach, pink, gray, or yellow. Some whites are cool while others are warm. Here are some of my favorites:
The perfect gray—or even greige—can lend an aura of sophistication to your home, while also allowing your furniture, art, and other decor to be the statement makers.
Not sure where to start? Try here:
Fun and Playful
If whites and grays aren’t your jam, there are plenty of colors to express your personality.
Here are a few shades to experiment with:
Dark and Moody
Do you have a library? A study? A nook that is calling for dark walls?
Here are a few brooding options that I adore:
Can you tell I have a thing for greens and blues right now?
Once you’ve decided on a shade, the hard part is over. All that’s left is to paint (we can recommend some contractors if this isn’t a DIY project) and enjoy!
And stay tuned for our deeper dive into specific paint tips and tricks, colors that we’re obsessing over, and other easy updates to make your house your own.